Community Resources for Physical Activity Participation
|Group photo of various ages of wheelchair users.|
As indicated in the national health initiative, Healthy People 2010 (http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/), the promotion of health and improving the quality of lives for persons with disabilities begins in health care settings and is primarily supported by community-based organizations. The term 'community-based organization' means a private nonprofit organization that works within a community for the improvement of the physical, spiritual, psychological, and psychosocial well being of its participants; in this case, community-based organizations that work with people with physical disabilities (i.e., park and recreation agencies, churches, schools, rehabilitation facilities, etc.). Community-based organizations deal with interventions at the community level and generally work with some social issue(s).
As part of the services provided by community-based organizations, such as BlazeSports America, youth involved in programs are encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles. BlazeSports America uses community-based sports programs to teach the fundamentals of exercise and benefits of physical activity through sport while also emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet to youth with physical disabilities. These programs are aimed at promoting independence and introducing youth to various sports and leisure pursuits. In addition, these programs provide motivation for youth with physical disabilities to become more involved in an active lifestyle on a local level. For example, the child could join a local community tennis team and play in a one-up, one-down format (www.usta.com).